New technologies don’t just grow themselves. Just like anything else, additive manufacturing (AM) requires research and innovation to keep its competitive edge, and to further enhance its capabilities.
President Obama pushed for the creation of a country-wide manufacturing initiative project that resulted in the opening of NAMII. NAMII is only the first of a proposed 15-site network, but not every state is willing to wait for the federal government to fund new manufacturing research centers. Not only is the federal government slow as molasses, the competition for the next site means not every state will be a winner. Virginia has taken matters into its own hands with the grand opening of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM).
“Today’s opening of the CCAM research facility marks a pivotal moment for America’s global competitiveness,” said Virginia governor, Bob McDonnel. “Companies that take the important step to join the CCAM research center in the Commonwealth of Virginia become partners of a one-of-a-kind asset in the U.S. — one that drives competitive advantage in the rapidly-transforming advanced manufacturing segment of our nation’s economy. The innovations produced at CCAM are cutting-edge, and the new facility will further Virginia as a hub for advanced manufacturing technology and high-skill jobs in the 21st century.”
The CCAM is a 62,000 sq. ft. research facility that was constructed using a combination of public and private funding in the vein of NAMII. CCAM is located in Prince George County, VA, next to Rolls-Royce’s new manufacturing plant. Initial research will be focused on surface engineering and new manufacturing systems, including additive manufacturing research.
Corporate involvement includes companies such as Canon, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, and Aerojet. The academic members of the new facility are the University of Virginia, Virginia State University, and Virginia Tech. UVA and VT have agreed to add 11 new faculty members at each college’s respective engineering school to, “strengthen and broaden engineering capabilities relevant to CCAM.” These new faculty members will work at CCAM to direct research efforts.
Below you’ll find a video about CCAM.